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Stephen Wong MW

Stephen Wong MW

Became an MW 2016

Based in New Zealand

Languages English, Hokkien (Chinese dialect)


Malaysian-born Chinese, Stephen Wong MW moved from Borneo to Singapore and finally to New Zealand to read Law at the University of Otago. While studying, he worked in hospitality and club DJ-ing. He moved to Central Otago in 2000, where his journey into wine progressed into the vineyard and managing a restaurant wine list. After completing his Barrister examinations in Wellington, he picked up his first fledgling sommelier role and started learning on the job. After seven years sommelier-ing, Stephen moved into consulting; helping restaurants and hotels in New Zealand and Singapore with their wine programs. He now runs a small hospitality support and education business in Wellington (Wine Sentience) hosting classes and organising wine events for industry and public. At the start of 2020, Stephen joined an old university friend to co-found Stompy, an online wine service start-up based in California.

Stephen became actively involved in the IMW's education committee immediately after passing - taking on co-coordinator role for the Australasian seminar for four years, advising and marking research papers, and now overseeing the Assignment Marking Scheme. He sits with Lisa Granik MW as co-chairs of the Institute's Diversity, Inclusion and Transformation Committee.

Primary area(s) of work: Trade, Strategy, Communication

Industry sector(s): Agency/Importer, Business owner, Buying, Distribution, Educator, Events, Journalism, Off trade, On trade, PR, Sales, Wine judge, Wine tourism

Wine styles: Champagne, Fine and rare wines, Natural, Orange wines, Still red, Still rosé, Still white, Sweet wines

Wine region expertise: Alsace, Australia, Burgundy, Canterbury (NZ), Central Otago, Champagne, France, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough, Martinborough, Nelson, New Zealand, Rhone

Market expertise: China, New Zealand, North America, South East Asia

Specialisms: Blending, Sensory evaluation , Branding, Direct to consumer, Distribution, Food and wine pairing, History of wine, HORECA, Identifying and meeting consumer demand, Investment strategies, Marketing wine, Restaurant wines, Routes to market, Supplier/customer relationships, Training, Wine laws and regulations, Wine tourism, Wine judging